Strategic shopping seems much more impressive than ‘couponing’. Strategy is exactly what makes coupons work for you! If you like games, this is definitely up your alley… (Did I mention that I hate games…But I love to find a great deal!) What I hope to accomplish is to point you in the direction of some great resources and get you on the road to cutting your grocery bill! If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Sometimes there is a learning curve to matching coupons and scoring the best deals. Give yourself a good month of regularly strategic shopping and you will be pleasantly surprised.
First step, get to know the types of coupons that are out there.
• Manufacturer Coupons
• Store Coupons
• Rewards Bucks(CVS)/Register Rewards (Walgreens)
• Mail In Rebates
Here are how these measure up. Manufacture coupons are put out by the product manufacturers to give you an incentive to buy their products. Store Coupons are provided by the Store for specific item or brand. These come in flyers placed in the stores, in your newspaper or in the mail. In general, those coupons are meant to be used at that particular store, however, in our area, Publix takes all competitors coupons. This is a golden opportunity. Rewards Bucks and Register Rewards are offered by the store after you have purchased a certain product during their promotional dates. These rewards are good for your next purchase at that store. They are meant to be used only at that store, however, Publix does accept them. Mail-In-Rebates are offered by Manufacturers as a bonus for buying their product.
Next step that I suggest is to watch the Southernsavers.com tutorials http://www.southernsavers.com/tutorials/
Get familiar with the southernsavers.com website. It is a comprehensive resource for any of the stores in our area. This website will help build your shopping lists based on what is on sale, what you should have coupons for (or can get them by printing them off of the internet) as well as any additional mail in rebates. They do all of the homework for you. I have no idea how they compile their database, but they have it going on! Once you have been clipping coupons for a while, you will see that you probably have the coupons for items that go on sale!
As you are preparing to plunge into strategic shopping, make note of these coupon tricks:
• Purchase 2 Sunday newspapers. Many products go on sale ‘buy 1 get 1’ regularly. The stores allow you to use a coupon for each of those items, essentially doubling your coupon value! You can easily make up the cost of your newspaper by catching 1 b1g1 sale.
• Clip coupons that you would possibly buy if the price was just pocket change (because inevitably you will find the product on sale or clearance and kick yourself for not clipping it!
• Coupons that say Buy 1 Get 1 free are GOLDEN! If you stash that coupon until you see a Buy 1 Get 1 free sale, you will get BOTH ITEMS FREE! The coupon covers the item that you are supposed to pay for (within the monetary limit that the coupon states).
• Publix allows for the combination of a store coupon (even if it is not their own) and a manufacturer’s coupon. I do not know of another store around this area that does this. What this means is, If you catch Kelloggs cereal on sale b1g1, you can use a manufacturer’s coupon for each box of cereal and a store coupon for each box.
Another great video tutorial is couponmom.com. She has tons of youtube videos at http://www.youtube.com/user/CouponMom .
http://www.iheartpublix.com is another must have resource. Southersavers.com does a good job reviewing the Publix ads but I have found additional coupons and resources on iheartpublix, especially the page http://www.iheartpublix.com/index.php/weekly-ad and click on the mega deals link.
So now that you have all of these coupons, what do you do with them all? Well, I started out with a little accordion file, and then I realized that I was out growing that system so I switched over to a very primitive envelope style. Today, I officially moved up to a coupon binder. Many coupon sites show people building coupon binders and using baseball card protector sheets to hold the coupons. Being the frugalista that I am, I was determined to find something that I already had that could work. In my homeschool stash, I had tons of CD binder sleeves, so I went to work making a binder using this pretty little layout http://thekrazycouponlady.com/kclcouponbinder.pdf by http://thekrazycouponlady.com . I love her tagline :-).
The internet has a wealth of information that I have yet to conquer, and by no means do I feel like I have the supreme knowledge on the topic of couponing, but I love to share great opportunities with other and hope that you may have great success with your Strategic Shopping.
I leave you with a picture of my mega deal of the week…this keeps me couponing!
You've got it! I paid $.92 for all this! Just peanuts (pardon the pun) :-)